Sunday, January 09, 2011

Reviews of my Reading Choices, 2010; Part 1

Let's see if I can remember. I knew I should've reviewed each book as soon as I finished it. But in hindsight, if a book is truly memorable, that's a great review in itself, right?

I'll do a star-rating, too, like others have.

***** Superb. Worth owning. Would give as gift to a like-minded person.
**** Very good. Memorable. Would highly recommend to others to get from library.
*** Good reading, but not excellent writing. Will recommend for certain merits, not the "whole package."
** Fair. Waded through.
* Why did I bother to finish it? or I didn't finish because it was too boring or too poorly written. I can't be editing everything in my mind and still enjoy the thing.

Many were read, reviewed, and recommended by fellow bloggers. My apologies for not looking up the authors unless I remember them. I'm lazy.

3000 Degrees-- (non-fiction) Story of six firefighters who (shall I spoil the ending?) lose their lives fighting an inferno caused by squatters in a New England warehouse. The writing is not superb (a lot of cliches, if I remember correctly) but the real life drama captivated me. I read it in two days, something I can't say of 98% of the books I read. Made me grateful for firefighters and that none of my loved ones has chosen that profession. I couldn't live with the fear. ***

Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce --(biography) John Piper wrote this excellent little book about the man responsible for abolishing slave trade between Europe and America. On his deathbed he received the answer to a lifetime of prayers and hard work. His singleminded drive and relentless prayers to God on his behalf changed history for thousands upon thousands of people. Piper's handling of the English language in prose or preaching never dulls me, and always rivets me. A few parts (politics) slowed it down for me, but overall it's one I'd highly recommend to a Christian history buff. ****

Amy Carmichael, Rescuer of Precious Gems (biography)-- This book is from my favorite missionary bio series by Geoff and Janet Benge. Written on a 5th/6th grade level, the plot and dialogue are perfect for me either alone or aloud with my students. Carmichael remained single all her life, but became "Amma" ("Mother") to hundreds of orphans in India by the power and will of God. I laughed and cried, and my faith was increased by reading this true account. ****

The Holiness of God (Sproul) -- I resisted reading this for years, thinking it'd be too heady or academic to be practical, even though I love RC Sproul's preaching. To the contrary, nothing increased my thinking of how to live my life practically in light in God's holiness. It's not like there is an academic God and a practical God. He is One. Sproul has a keen gift for weaving Greek and Hebrew teaching with personal anecdotes in a way no one parallels. I could quote endlessly from this book if it were in front of me, but what I walked away with was a greater appreciation of God's holiness. He is holy loving, holy gracious, holy just, holy forgiving. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty! *****

Okay, this will get too long. I'll review more at another time. I know how it goes: you see a really long post and decide to skim it or skip it. Vain me, I'd rather hold your attention! (Maybe I should reread that last book I mentioned.)


Rachelle said...

I think I will order the Amy Carmichael book. You are one of many who say it is a good read. I'm also interested in the Sproul book. Like you, I love his preaching.
First, before ordering anything else,I am going to read a book I have on Bonehoeffer, "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" written by Timothy Keller.It is I have kind of left it on the shelf.

Danielle said...

The Holiness of God is one of my all-time faves. I couldn't put it down!

If you want to read even a more detailed bio on Carmichael, check out Elisabeth Elliot's called, "A Chance to Die."